Previously “Google Drive Backup and Sync”, Google’s ‘Dropbox’ style solution for allowing you to synchronize your files to your computer via a local folder recently received a major update. Instead of having to download all of your Drive files to your local machine in order to edit them, thus taking up your hard drive space, the Workspace-only “Drive File Stream” finally made its way to regular Google account holders. File Stream allows you to “stream” your files to your machine locally instead of downloading them, and it’s awesome.
Though you no longer need to clog up your Windows or Mac storage with your cloud files, its name still has had some scratching their heads. “Google Drive” is clearly your cloud file storage, but the name “File Stream” isn’t exactly as easy to understand as something like, oh, I don’t know, “Google Drive for Desktop”. Seemingly for the sake of marketing simplicity, Google is making this very change as of version 45.0, according to the latest Release Notes.
According to these notes, there are a few things to know going forward:
- This new branding has also been updated on Google Workspace (G Suite)
- The mount path remains the same, and your files are still accessible from the same location, but any shortcuts to the application existing on your machine have been renamed using the new nomenclature.
- On MacOS, the application name has been renamed to “Google Drive”.
- Beginning in April of 2021, version 47.0 will receive Apple M1 support and additional bug fixes and performance improvements
The web for Google Drive for Desktop has also received a visual refresh, featuring some Googley graphics. You can still get Backup and Sync as an individual, but I highly recommend that you switch over to Drive File Stream (Now Google Drive for Desktop). Google has made a large push this year toward simplifying their marketing and becoming more ‘user friendly’. I hope to see more changes like this across its services. Let us know in the comments which Google service you feel needs a marketing refresh in 2021.